University: California State University Northridge
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business administration, industrial engineering
Study type: semester abroad
Flight / Arrival:
I booked my flight well in advance, which I really recommend to everyone, as the prices of the flights only increase over time. I also booked the outward and return flights at the same time because individual flights are also significantly more expensive. After the end of the semester you have 60 days to leave the country, so I almost used these days to be able to travel a bit in the USA after my semester and booked my return flight accordingly later. Check ehuacom.com to see UOB study abroad opportunities.
Arriving at LAX can be a bit tricky at times, as the shuttle buses advertised by CSUN are sometimes very unreliable and sometimes just don’t come. But before you take a taxi to Northridge at the airport, I really recommend you to use Uber or Lyft, because experience has shown that you can’t avoid these apps during the semester anyway and you can reduce the fare from around $100 to less than half.
I’m studying industrial engineering for a master’s degree in Germany , so I have to say in advance that the selection of possible universities in the USA is significantly smaller than when I was studying for a bachelor’s degree. I was also drawn to California, which is why I made compromises in my choice of study in order to be able to go to the state I wanted.
California State University Northridge offers a wide range of courses for engineering students, so I could have deepened my knowledge there. In order to be able to guarantee credit for the study achievements at my German university, the courses offered in the USA must match those at my university. This can prove to be difficult in the master’s program, since the courses vary greatly from university to university and there are no longer any compulsory courses, so that it was not possible for me to credit the achievements I had acquired abroad.
But then I saw it more as an opportunity to immerse myself in different disciplines in order to broaden my horizons and do things that I enjoy / that interest me. In addition, the focus for me this semester was to improve my language skills, since the engineering courses offered in Germany usually exceed the level of the American ones. So I can say that I was able to get a lot out of the semester despite the lack of credit.
As already mentioned, I have not exclusively dealt with engineering courses. At first I wanted to focus on economics courses, but this department at CSUN is different from the others, so that courses cannot simply be chosen there without prior approval from the university. However, the other departments there are much more free, so that although you go to CSUN with a fixed course of study, you can then choose courses from pretty much any department.
Anyone who has ever considered a semester abroad knows that it involves some costs, especially when the USA and California in particular are the destination. The tuition fees at CSUN are $6900 and the application fee is $300, which you have to pay for the application process.
In addition, there is mandatory health insurance, for which I stuck to the Hanse Merkur insurance recommended by MicroEdu, as it also performs very well in comparison. It may also be interesting to know that some credit cards include 60-day international health insurance, so you may be able to save the first few days.
Finally, there are the costs for accommodation and I have decided to live directly on campus and would probably do it again. The costs of around $6000 for the semester sound high at first, but are also more than usual for normal apartments near the campus. You can also eat 10 times a week in the campus canteen, so you can definitely save some money there.
I’ve met quite a few people who have lived off campus and it’s possible to find cheaper housing if renting over $1000 a month is an absolute no-no for you. However, life inside the dormitory is very fun as all international students are housed in the same building, so you are with people who are in the same boat as you. In the dormitory, however, you always share a room with a roommate and there are four people per apartment, so you have to deal with having little to no privacy. However, this also applies to many apartments near the campus, as these cannot otherwise be paid for.
I really have nothing negative to say about MicroEdu over the course of my semester. All questions were answered in detail and very helpfully in advance. The complete processing of the application and the documents with the university went smoothly for me and I never had the feeling that I was being left alone somewhere. During the semester, I was also asked whether I could find my way around there, so I did n’t see myself as a “checked-out customer”, which I really liked !